Pavement explodes yards from pedestrians and cars in Old Street

A pavement in Old Street exploded yards from pedestrians and cars, sending a manhole cover flying into the air.

Witnesses say it was lucky no one was hurt in the dramatic blast on Monday evening, which happened as commuters were leaving work on the hottest day of the year so far.

Video posted on social media by Mark Douglas shows smoke pouring from the manhole as a number of confused-looking people stand around.

A pile of debris is visible next to the hole, while its cover can be seen lying in the road a few yards away.


The road was cordoned off after the incident in Old Street (@markjdouglas/Twitter)

The 26-year-old operations manager was sitting in his office when the explosion happened.

He tweeted: “So a section of the footpath just exploded on #oldstreet and the power went out. Pretty sure just an electric fault, but scary!”

He told the Standard: “People were a little rattled given what happened lately. I was in an office right next to it and saw it out the window.

“The concrete and metal flew into the air and then came down, definitely lucky it didn’t hit anyone or a car.

“People were shocked and afraid that another manhole could go up fearing it was gas or an underground fire.”


Witnesses said it was lucky no one was hurt (@markjdouglas/Twitter)

A Met Police spokesman said the cause of the explosion was believed to be an electrical fire.

He told the Standard: “We were called at 5.20pm to reports a manhole cover had exploded.

“Officers from the London Fire Brigade also attended. It is believed to have been caused by an electrical fire.

“There were road closures while emergency services dealt with the incident.

“The London Fire Brigade and electrical power companies dealt with the incident and the cordon was lifted at 7.02pm.” 

Reuse content

Source :